Last week we were invited for a casual lunch at one of Vancouver’s oldest establishments, Hy’s Encore, to taste our way through a newly launched lunch menu. As one of the city’s oldest dining institutions, you can bet our appetite (and curiosity) was more than piqued…
The building itself dates back decades, and if you didn’t know of its longtime existence at 637 Hornby Street (just before Dunsmuir) you’d likely walk right past its stone and brick face. The front is windowless and a heavy dark wood door needs a little extra push to open, but once inside it’s as though you’ve been transported to another time and place.
Shrouded in dim lighting and with a colour scheme heavy on burgundy, black, and gold throughout, Hy’s means business – in a good way. A front bar and lounge area is the first thing you see, and guests can nab a seat at one of a cluster of cocktail tables for a pre-dinner drink. Several private rooms flank the tunnel-like entranceway that leads towards Hy’s main dining room, where you’ll find furnishings that have been updated to accentuate the rich feel of the space.
Now let’s get down to the food, shall we?
After ordering an obligatory basket of Hy’s famous cheese toast for two, we poured over the new menu noting a number of enticing additions. Items like a tropical shrimp salad sandwich and chicken ‘Sloppy Joe’ have made the list, as have vegetarian rice flour dosas (a nod to the kitchen staff) as well as escargot (if you’re feeling fancy).
Our host took the reins and ordered up a bevy of delectable dishes we’re happy to report were culinary winners. First off, we noshed on the marinated steak salad – grilled to perfection and served on a bed of lettuce, julienned vegetables, and sliced cherry tomatoes in a special house miso dressing. This was followed by the new duck confit salad (delish!) and a sampling platter for two featuring jumbo prawns, steamed broccoli, and steak smothered in a house specialty sauce.
As if that weren’t enough, we had to add several of Hy’s a la carte items to the mix… Who can say no to sautéed Brussels sprouts with back bacon and shaved Parmesan or creamed spinach? Clearly not us.
Not to overwhelm you with choices (especially if you’re a long-time fan of Hy’s and have your go-to dishes), their new lunch menu is easy to navigate and divided into Classic and Modern selections to keep things quick and easy; the main focus being their desire to provide superior quality, value, and attention to detail (that’s perhaps more so associated with dinner service) all under the lunch-hour gun.
For more on Hy’s Encore, visit them online – and if you go bring your appetite. You’ve been warned.
What’s your favourite dish from Hy’s Encore? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.